I greatly enjoyed reading both your post here and Daerax's. I've been considering actually making a journal entry just for the fuss about education, the reason being that my day job is in education. I could write pages about what I think you've got just right, where your off a bit, and where there are some really important tangential issues you didn't mention. I'll limit myself to two of the more important ones here.
The first is this:
Quote:Our society has reached its current situation precisely for one reason: our educational system has caused it. The collapse and decay...
What do you think characterizes the ills of the 'current situation?' I think there are lots of problems with the present day US culture, but I'd like to know if we're on the same page there. However, I disagree with the premise that our society has fallen from some previous peak.
What are we decaying from? There are problems today that didn't use to exist, but I don't think that is necessarily a decay - the problems are just different. I don't think this mythical better pasts exists. Our society has always had problems, some of which have been confronted better than others; some of which have been solved and some of which are greater than ever today. But it's false to suppose that our society used to be far better and it's false to suppose that the educational system is to blame for the new problems that exist . Let's take one: the decline of social capital, which I would suggest is a relatively new and very important issue, but one that I don't think can be fully blamed on education. The reason I bring this up is that many reformers propose changes that amount to an attempt to return to the past - but the past of America or the educational system isn't better than what we have today. There are good ideas from the past and we should learn from it, but we shouldn't try to emulate it or return to it, which is implied in your statement.
The one other big issue you've understated is the general importance of family and community in education. Your desire for home-schooling is certainly evidence of this, but the issue is much broader than you've noted. I believe the failure of education can largely be traced to the failur of families to be involved directly in the education and life of their children. You can blame this on a number of parties - the families themselves, cultural impetus, the educational system, but I think any discussion of educational reform should be based fundamentally on involving the child's family and community in education and returning the educational system to being involved in the family and the community. From an academic viewpoint, there's plenty of research on the importance and effect of family involvement in education.
This is one more facet of the general complacency of the populace that you've noted. I don't think you need to do home-schooling (although it's a valid option), you just need to be direclty involved in your child's education in every way in whatever form that education takes. Society as a whole needs to motivate all familes to take a similar interest. If I had to pick one fundamental issue to tackle to reform education today, that would be it. If parents were actively interested, all sorts of other problems, from incompetent teachers keeping jobs, to children's disinterest in education, to fostering civic involvement would either be solved automatically or would be far easier to confront.
Phew. That was probably very rambling and could use some serious editing. But I probably won't get around to it :(.